Sick Betta

BettaBlues

Hi! I've had my betta, Saturn, for about 9 or 10 months now, and he's been doing very well. He's in a 5 gallon hexagon tank with an otocinclus. Last Wednesday (7/14) everything was fine. He swam up to the front of the tank when I fed him and ate his food (betta pellets) like normal. Thursday I noticed he was towards the bottom of his tank around 8 pm I then realized he had been doing this seemingly more often (that I had noticed). Previously I just assumed he was sleeping. Anyway Thursday I decided to take a better look at him and noticed his body was wavy. I don't mean bent over like swim bladder but wavy (you can notice it better when looking straight down on him). I looked things up online which of course said he will most likely die. I then proceeded to vacuum gravel the tank and removed about 1/4 to 1/3 of the water and replaced it. I did a test strip of nitrates, nitrites, etc and everything was fine. The next day (Friday) I did another water change probably more like 1/4 this time and scraped 3 of the 6 sides of algae (and I did another test strip - the nitrates were maybe mildly high). I also added either 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of aquarium salt. During all of my water changes I also add a squirt or two (I know very scientific) of Tetra brand Safestart to keep the good bacteria in there. I'm honestly surprised he didn't die Saturday while I was at work. I changed the filter cartridge Sunday (it had gotten nasty after the water changes and stirring up things). His body doesn't seem to be wavy anymore that I can tell. I did some minor research and found that I should try Maracyn (a fritz mardel product). I went looking for it today (Monday 7/19) after work. Meijer didn't have it and neither did the local pet store. However, I picked up BettaFix. I got home from work and he's still alive. I dropped in 1 and 1/2 tsps of BettaFix. It says 1/2 tsp per US gallon of water. I know I underdosed it. Also today I notice his fins are more raggidy. He still moves occasionally, I'll notice him in different places every so often. Saturn is also at a 50-60 degree angle (nose down) the last few days. He also is slightly uncoordinated when he swims. Now I look at him again, he moved to a different spot and is almost 90 degrees. Is there anything else I should try? Should I add more BettaFix to the appropriate dosage? Can I really dose the aquarium everyday like it says on the back of the bottle? Should I dose it everyday? Any other suggestions would be much appreciated so I can try and save him. Or at least I can say I tried.
 

BigManAquatics

Bloated at all?
 
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ValkyrieLips

If you changed your filter cartridge you got rid of most of you beneficial bacteria and will now probably be in a mini-cycle. I would start doing larger more frequent WCs and invest in a liquid test kit since they are far more accurate than the strips.

I would also stop dosing with the bettafix because it's useless and just diluted tea tree oil which isn't good for fish with labyrinth organs..
If you fill out the emergency template and include exact numbers we can help out more.
 
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